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Chevron lobbies Biden administration against new sanctions on Myanmar

Chevron lobbies Biden administration against new sanctions on Myanmar
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Chevron hired lobbyists to warn against sanctions on Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), which could impact the oil and gas giant’s operations in Myanmar.

The New York Times first reported, citing four people familiar with the lobbying, that Chevron lobbied the State Department and Congress, arguing that any sanctions on state-owned MOGE could endanger the viability of a gas field that it partners with in the country.

Chevron also warned that endangering the gas field’s viability could worsen the humanitarian crisis in the country for people who rely on it for power, the Times reported.

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Chevron has had a long-standing relationship with the MOGE. 

“Since 1992, Chevron has had a 28.3% interest in a Myanmar gas field, Yadana. Chevron is a non-operating partner. Shutting the field down for an extended period could adversely affect its future production potential.  It is a mature field that requires ongoing maintenance to maintain safety and future production,” a Chevron spokesperson told The Hill in an email.

In the first quarter of 2021, Chevron spent nearly $2.2 million on lobbying, according to disclosures. It paid lobbying firm Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas $80,000 to monitor sanctions impacting the oil and gas industry and has in-house lobbyists who lobbied the State Department, the National Security Council, the Commerce Department and Congress on Myanmar so far this year. 

Lobbyists also warned that sanctions could expose the MOGE’s employees to criminal charges because the company is connected to the new military government that took power from elected leaders in February, according to the Times.

Democrats and others are pushing President BidenJoe BidenAtlanta mayor won't run for reelection South Carolina governor to end pandemic unemployment benefits in June Airplane pollution set to soar with post-pandemic travel boom MORE to impose sanctions on the MOGE because the company is believed to be financing the junta, which is the military group that has power in Myanmar. 

A spokesman for Chevron told the Times that Chevron has not had any contact with the military and has “had no discussions with MOGE on the potential for sanctions.” 

—Updated at 1:44 p.m.